Women’s History Month Lesson Plan: Malala Yousafzai and Susan B. Anthony

By Annie Thornton 02.28.2018 blog

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’re unlocking this Channel One News interview with Malala Yousafzai. We’ve created a two-day mini unit lesson plan that ties together the interview, along with Malala’s speech on education delivered to the United Nation Youth Assembly. On day 2, students make a connection between Malala and Susan B. Anthony, with a close reading of Susan B. Anthony’s speech “Women’s Right to the Suffrage.”

Day 1

Watch: Channel One News Interview with Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai Transcript

Check for Understanding:

  • How did Malala manage to keep attending school after the Taliban took power?
  • What made Malala a target for the Taliban?
  • What are some of Malala’s accomplishments in the years following the shooting?

Read: Print copies for students to follow as they listen to Malala’s speech on education delivered to the United Nations Youth Assembly in July 2013.

Watch: Malala’s speech to the United Nation Youth Assembly

Check for Understanding:

  • What are the rights Malala is fighting for? Underline where you found this.
  • What obstacles currently prevent women and children from obtaining an education in some parts of the world?
  • What is Malala asking world leaders to do?

Argumentative Writing

In her address to the United Nations, Malala said, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain your thinking, using evidence from the videos and your own experience to support your response.

Day 2

Making a Connection: Invite students to consider the connection between Malala Yousafzai and notable women’s rights activist, Susan B. Anthony. In the 1800s, women in the United States had few legal rights and did not have the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony delivered the following speech after her arrest for casting an illegal vote in the presidential election of 1872. She was tried and then fined $100, but refused to pay.

Close Reading: Susan B Anthony’s speech, “On Women’s Right to Vote.”

Paragraph 1


  • suffrage (noun): the right to vote in political elections.
  • indictment (noun): a formal charge or accusation of a serious crime

Check for Understanding:

  • What is the purpose of Anthony’s speech? Underline it. What does she intend to prove in this speech?

Paragraphs 2-3


  • posterity (noun): future generations of people
  • ballot (noun): a system of voting, usually in writing and in secret

Check for Understanding:

  • What important historical document does Anthony reference to support her argument? Underline where you found this information.
  • Which words from this document does Anthony use to support her argument?

Paragraph 4


  • disenfranchisement: the prevention of a legal right
  • attainder: elimination of civil rights as punishment for treason or a felony
  • ex post facto: after the fact
  • posterity: all future generations
  • odious: extremely unpleasant
  • oligarchy: a small group of people having control over others
  • Saxon: Germanic tribes

Check for Understanding:

  • What legal rationale does Anthony uses to support her argument?
  • According to Anthony, why is “an oligarchy of sex” so detrimental to society?

Paragraph 5


  • Webster, Worcester and Bouvier: popular dictionaries
  • abridge: to reduce or lessen
  • immunities: protection under the law

Check for Understanding:

  • Why do you think Anthony includes the dictionary definition of “citizen,” instead of her own words?
  • In the final sentence, Anthony refers to 1870 passage of the 15th Amendment, granting African-Americans the right to vote in the U.S. How does this help support her argument?


  • Based on Anthony’s argument, does she make her case?
  • Which evidence do you think is the strongest?

Explanatory Writing

Compare and contrast Malala Yousafzai with Susan B. Anthony.

Additional Resources:

Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2014: Malala Yousafzai 

Biography of Susan B. Anthony

19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women’s Right to Vote


  1. Hannah S.

    I have heard about Malala many times. When I was in fourth my teacher read her diary book. Malala is a strong and very brave women. Without what she did, women and girls around the world would still be disrespected.

  2. babydoglover

    malala is a very strong woman who inspired many people

  3. Alaysia

    Malala is a very strong young woman and will change young girls and women´s lives forever because of her passion. She will remain strong and will be determined to do the good things that she is achieving.

  4. taylor wray

    i don’t think she should be able to go up there and just say what she wants and get away with it because if that was me i would be arrested by now.

  5. pandagirl3651

    malala is a great women and i hope she has great life. 🙂

  6. Alexis Fahey

    Malala is a very inspirational woman. In 2014 I decided to do her speech One Child, One Teacher, One Book and One Pen and present it to my school to help spread the word. I hope she succeeds even more in her work and I hope she will accelerate to even better opportunities.

  7. yeanneth rosado

    I believe in music and i believe that people should be friends not bullies

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